The three tier amateur licence restructure consists of the popular entry level Foundation Licence, Standard Licence and Advanced Licence.
The changes in October 2005 included new exam syllabi for the latter two, which lowered the level of knowledge required by candidates so as to align them with international standards.
Amateur Radio Victoria has conducted a number of bridging courses. These assume those attending have the Foundation Licence and kept that knowledge up to date. The syllabus was found best taught over six weeks (24 hours) plus some in between session self-study.
An approach to upgrading
The Foundation Licence, as an entry-point to amateur radio, is providing experience with hobby communications and the opportunity for further hands-on learning.
A key message to those wanting to upgrade is to know what is involved so they can make an informed decision, prepare and commit to a period of study.
It is important to have a commitment in terms of time and effort to study over a number of weeks. Plus an understanding that the Standard Licence is not simply 'more of the same' that was studied for the Foundation Licence.
The Foundation Licence requires knowledge at a very basic level, to enable a person to competently operate a low powered amateur radio station on selected bands and a few modes of transmission.
The Standard Licence needs knowledge of a wider range of topics, some which will be more in-depth than the basic approach taken in the Foundation Licence. This is necessary to reflect the greater operating privileges given to this licence.